Heat Check: Wade not enough to overcome absence of LeBron
MAR 19, 2014 10:24p ET
The Celtics' defense held Miami to 37 second-half points and Boston overcame a six-point halftime deficit to beat the Heat for the second time this season with a 101-96 win on Wednesday night.
It was Miami's 11th loss this season to a sub-.500 team and 11th loss in its last 12 regular-season games at TD Garden.
James sat out a night after scoring 43 points in a victory at Cleveland. He has dealt with back spasms during the season, and with this being the second game during a four in five days stretch, his status likely was a precautionary measure.
In retrospect, it was a costly absence.
The Heat (46-20), who had six double-figure scorers, lost for the sixth time in their past nine games. Miami failed to cash in despite dominating the paint, outscoring Boston 50-20.
Avery Bradley scored a game-high 23 points for the Celtics (23-46).
Center Greg Oden, who against the Cavs made his second straight start, joined James as Miami's inactive players.
Udonis Haslem started and scored 14 first-half points, on 7-of-8 shooting, with four rebounds to help the Heat build a 59-53 advantage.
Miami had 20 assists in 26 first-half field goals and outscored Boston in the paint 32-8 during the first 24 minutes.
The Celtics remained close at the half largely due to their 3-point shooting -- 9 of 18.
Mario Chalmers had eight assists in the first period to set a team record for a quarter.
THE TURNING POINT
Boston closed the game with a 9-4 run. The game was tied at 92 with 4:15 remaining, during which Miami shot 2 of 7.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Rajon Rondo only had nine points but had 15 assists and 10 rebounds. He scored four points in the final 1:44.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Celtics hit 13 of 28 attempts from 3-point territory.
The Heat will return home to play the Memphis Grizzlies, and former Miami star Mike Miller, on Friday at 7:30 p.m.